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The liturgical celebration of the First Sunday of the Great Fast, like all the other Sundays of the Great Fast, has gone through an evolution over the course of time. Originally it was a commemoration of the Old Testament prophets and their prophesies concerning our Lord based on the Gospel account wherein Philip tells Nathaniel, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the Law, and also the prophets,” (John 1:45). The Apostolic Reading from Hebrews also speaks about the prophets and their sufferings and concludes, “therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Additionally the Alleluia verses also uphold this theme: Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel among those who called upon His Name. They called upon the Lord, and He answered them. (Psalm 98:6)